“I See Digi-People”

PLUS: Pasta Playlists, CPG Legislation, and Pharrell Sells Out
September 30, 2022

Clap Along if You Feel Like Auctions Are for You. Pharrell Williams has a new business venture, an auction platform called Joopiter. And the musical innovator plans to auction off his own musical and fashion legacy there. This follows our lengthy podcast conversation about celebrity and brand, and the endurance of the business-savvy celebrity. Magdalena Kala, a web3 venture investor, said of Pharrell’s partnership with Doodles NFT project, and of his business acumen: “it's less about reach and distribution and more about cultural savvy of consumer interests.” Listen to that episode over here.

Knuck if you Zuck. Meta Mark announced a company-wide hiring freeze, as well as a forthcoming restructuring. We all know what “restructuring” means, right? 

Our Take: OK, fine we’re in the midst of the recession. Hiring freezes are existentially more worrisome than layoffs, at least according to Nnamdi Iregbulem, a partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners. On “Who is Nnamdi”, an economics and tech reporting Substack, Nnamdi argues that freezes are a better indication of mid-recessionary signals than layoffs.Rather than signaling a shift in priority, a freeze stops growth across an organization. You don’t have to be an HR expert to know that headcount targets often correlate to revenue growth. A freeze is an open “de-growth” signal.

Long Distance Looks. The world of running apparel is changing and indy brands are the main movers and shakers in the market. Fashion is driving athletic design, and runners do have to look just one way any more thanks to brands like Satisfy and District Vision. Among others, our favorite running brand Tracksmith gets a mention; as does Satisfy, District Vision, Soar, and — hold the phone for FC anti-design award winner of 2022 — Wyrd. Wyrd? More like Inspyrd.

Noddle Bops. Barilla (yes, the boxed dry noodle company) has a Spotify profile full of public playlists that are the length of the cooking times for each pasta they are named after. For example, there’s a 10 Minute Moody Day Linguine playlist and an 11 Minute Timeless Emotion Fusilli playlist. We have FC reader Danielle Vermeer to thank for this discovery.

Grocery & CPG Legislation. The White House held a conference this week to discuss hunger, nutrition, and health, during which they revealed a plan to standardize labeling on the front of food packaging. CPG makers are concerned about the effect it will have on the grocery market that has already experienced strain and price hikes over the past few years.

I See Digi-People. (You know we had to shamelessly put a piece about Bruce Willis in this section). Anyway, in a Hollywood first, Bruce Willis sold the rights of his likeness to be used and hired as a “digital twin” to Deepcake, a U.S. firm, for future productions.

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